What You Need to Know About Joomla 3

j-mobileJoomla! 3 is only three months away from launch.

Here's what you need to know. It's all good news:

  • What's great about Joomla 3? This is the version that will bring Joomla up-to-speed with the mobile revolution that is taking over the web.
  • Who is Joomla 3 for? To begin with, it is for developers and early adopters only. 
  • I am on Joomla 2.5. What do I do? Stay right where you are! Joomla 2.5 is a wonderful version of Joomla and will be supported until 2014. 
  • Will the upgrade be easy? Yes, the plan is to allow people to upgrade from 2.5 to 3.0 directly from the administrator area of their site. Remember though, you don't need to do that until 2013 or 2014.


Developers: It's Time to Get Moving

This is an official call-to-action for extension developers for both testing and giving feedback on the new Joomla! user interface (JUI).

The Joomla! User Experience (JUX) group is leading the way in the creation of the new mobile experience and user interface for Joomla 3.

However, more volunteers are needed. This is a great opportunity for the Joomla developer community to give feedback about improving the mobile features, the user interface and about which elements are missing.

Put on your thinking caps and let's make Joomla more mobile and easier to use.

Tentative Schedule for Joomla 3

The tentative plan for the Joomla 3 release schedule is as follows:

  • 12 July: 3.0.0_Alpha1 ... Alpha1 contains only the new 12.2 platform version, but does not contain new features. This release is targeted to third-party extension developers to test their extensions with the new 12.2 platform.
  • 23 July: 3.0.0_Alpha2 ... Alpha2 will contain the first round of new features for Joomla 3.0, based on what is ready at that time.
  • Mid-August: Feature freeze to prepare for beta release
  • Late-August: 3.0.0_Beta1 ... Beta1 will contain most or all of the features for 3.0.
  • 24 September: 3.0.0 Stable ... We will likely do a beta2 and/or RC1 release between beta1 and 3.0.0.

Please note that dates are approximations.

What Developers Need to Know About Joomla 3

  • The Admin and Site Templates will be completely redone. There is still plenty of time for you to contribute feedback for it and to help out with usability testing. See "Ways to Contribute" below for more details.
  • Joomla 3 will include Bootstrap (https://twitter.github.com/bootstrap/)
  • Joomla 3 core will include jQuery in noConflict mode. Mootools will still be included, so existing extensions that rely on Mootools will continue to work as before. Work is underway to use jQuery for all core JavaScript functionality. If this is ready in time, it will be included for version 3.0.
  • Core frontend and admin outputs will change to use Bootstrap, and some layouts may change more substantially.
  • There are important changes to the Platform, including the removal of deprecated items, the renaming of legacy classes, and new deprecations. There are also changes to core tables including removal of unused fields in the database. Core content tables will continue to increase standardization to enable progressive enhancement as planned platform packages are introduced. Please visit the following page for a list of potential backward compatibility issues in Joomla 3.0:
  • PHP 5.3.1 will be the minimum supported version and official support for some older browsers will be dropped.
  • All core tables will be Innodb and that should be considered the default engine.
  • Smart Search integration will continue to advance. Instructions for creating a Smart Search plugin: https://docs.joomla.org/Creating_a_Smart_Search_plug-in

Ways to Contribute #1: Test Your Extensions

1. Test the Joomla core and your extensions (including templates) to make sure they work as expected. The master branch for the CMS on Github is now version 3.0:

Please make sure that you are testing with error reporting on either Development or Maximum and that you are working on PHP 5.3 or 5.4. Also make sure that you enable logging, since the many errors now result in logging, instead of error messages sent to the browser.

2. Start developing the UI for your extensions with the all-new, Bootstrap-powered JUI. Currently the latest branch is ‘template6’:

Changes will primarily impact components and modules, but plugins that render or that have complex interfaces may also need some work.  

Ways to Contribute #2: Give Feedback

1. Group discussion for developers' best practices:
Developers can discuss and establish standards across Joomla 3 administrator interfaces and frontend site views. Collaboration and agreement on UI standards and best practices is crucial to the usability of Joomla. Now that the JUI features an extended Bootstrap UI library, developers no longer need to create their own UI framework and can contribute to the core JUI library for a responsive, shared, mutually beneficial set of UI across all of Joomla. Discuss these best practices on the JUX forum:

2. The CMS Feature Tracker has the list of proposed features. Try them out and give feedback to the feature developers. Features are only accepted if they are well tested and solid, so make sure that you try out and give feedback on features you want.

Ways to Contribute #3: Get Involved in Development

1. Joomla CMS Group:

This is the group for people working on CMS features.

2. Joomla Bug Squad Google Group:

This is the group for people helping fix bugs in the existing trunk.

3. JUX Team:

Working in the latest template# branch:

off this task list:

4. Write Code:

5. Documentation:

Go to docs.joomla.org and collaborate with the documentation efforts, creating docs about tutorials, howtos and more. Discuss documentation at the Joomla Docs Google Group:

Also, the JUX team will put together example markup and docs for the JUI in a much similar fashion to the wonderful Bootstrap docs site. The files will be in a Github Repository so everyone can help out and collaborate.


The Translation Teams will provide packs when 3.0 stable will be released. For the alpha and beta versions, the 2.5.x packs will be OK.

*This announcement was created by collaboration from many individuals and groups.  Thank you to everyone that helped!